Friday Fun – Baking Frenzy
I have been on a baking frenzy lately!
In addition to thinking about the upcoming holidays and baking for Thanksgiving, I have been trying new recipes from a cookbook that I am excited to talk about.
Wintersweet: Seasonal desserts to warm the home was written by Tammy Donroe Inman, a friend from my college days (actually she was Spouse’s friend and I met her through him). Through the awesome power of the internet and Facebook, I reconnected with Tammy a few years ago to discover that she wrote a witty, charming food blog called Food on the Food.
Now, I am happy to say, she has turned her food knowledge into a beautiful dessert cookbook. Wintersweet focuses on using fresh, local ingredients and turns blasé winter cooking into a delightful foray through winter produce. Not only are the recipes decadent and mouth-watering, the book itself is gorgeous. It is one of the best-looking cookbooks I have seen and I am displaying it in my kitchen like a work of art. I admit to reading it like a good piece of literature and also >ahem< sometimes fondling the pages.
I am determined to work my way through the book and have already made 4 recipes. Don’t judge the book by my poor pictures though!
I first tried the Peanut Butter Blondies – a delicious brownie concoction that combines my two favorite indulgences: peanut butter and chocolate. Where could you go wrong? Apparently my children share my tastes and I never even got to take a picture of these.
Then we tried the Apple Cider Doughnuts. I admit I was a bit hesitant about making doughnuts. I have never tried to make them before and for some reason I had it in my mind that it was difficult. Thanks to a fryer we received as a gift from a friend, these were a snap!
The dough was easy to make. It called for buttermilk however, and I didn’t have any. My mother told me that you could make buttermilk with vinegar. I was not convinced until I turned to the internet and found that 1 cup of milk mixed with a tablespoon of acid (vinegar or lemon juice) will curdle the milk and substitute for store-bought buttermilk.
The kids enjoyed making the holes in the doughnuts and we let them each fry up their own. They were delicious! (how many times am I going to say that in this post?) The only downside I see to these doughnuts is that they would be difficult to produce in mass quantities, and thus I won’t be able to make them for our annual pumpkin carving party.
Next up was Butternut Squash Cake. I just happened to have butternut squash sitting on my counter and so this recipe was calling to me. I followed Tammy’s directions for roasting and puréeing the squash, although I did not strain the purée prior to using, and instead left the water out of the recipe. This “cake” had too much of an adult taste for the kids, but Spouse and I decided to call it a bread and eat it for breakfast – it didn’t last long.
Number 2 picked out the next recipe and he surprised the heck out of me by choosing Chocolate Beet Woopie Pies. Only Number 4 will eat beets in our family – but she loves them. Loves them to the point of eating so many that it changes the color of her bodily outputs, if you get my drift. I asked Number 2 if he realized they had beets in them, and he said, yeah, but look at the picture!
This recipe takes some planning and time. I had planned on making the recipe with the kids on a rainy day when my sitter called in sick. However I only got the beet purée made by the time Spouse came home from work early so I could get to my day-job. He made the cakes and filling and presented one to me as I sat at my computer contemplating an article on Quantitative Western Blots.
He had a right to be proud (I guess some credit should go to Tammy too). The cake was moist and chocolaty and you could not tell there was beets in it. The filling was creamy and sweet. They were gobbled up quickly, although Spouse managed to hide some in the fridge to save for Thanksgiving. Number 1 even asked if there were some left today so he could have them for breakfast. Nice try.
I can’t wait to try the next recipe – the hard part is choosing.
So, if you are looking for a way to banish the winter doldrums, pick up Tammy’s book by clicking the box below and try out some new recipes. You will not be disappointed!